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    My backyard squirrels never fail to entertain me. Whether scampering through the yard with a prize from the neighbor’s recently restocked peanut reserve, investigating a whirly-winged woodpecker lawn ornament, climbing on a rhododendron as though it were a jungle gym, or just sprawled on a shaded tree limb to escape summer’s midday heat, their faces seem always to express a mix of curiosity and surprise, perhaps with a bit of mischief tossed in for good measure. As entertaining as the squirrels are, however, I most enjoy watching them when their curiosity appears to have been piqued and their creativity and ingenuity appear to have been inspired, and my enjoyment is compounded when I have, albeit unwittingly, been the source of that inspiration.

    I seemed to have unwittingly inspired, this past spring, one inventive neighborhood squirrel’s creativity and ingenuity when I relegated to the compost heap a potted Mothers Day plant that, having served its purpose, had wilted and dried. One day I noticed that the plant, its root ball still retaining the shape of the flower pot, had mysteriously found its way onto the lawn. It lay there for a day or two when, one morning, I saw one of the neighborhood squirrels “wrestling” with it. Time and again the bushy-tailed little guy or gal, a youngster I would guess since the more pragmatic adults must have been too busy squirreling away peanuts in preparation for leaner times to have concerned themselves with such trivialities, grasped the root ball with its front paws and tumbled this way, then that way, then head-over-heels and heels-over-head. How pleased I felt, as I chuckled silently to myself, that the clever little critter had repurposed the thing that I had discarded, and how impressed was I by the display of creativity and ingenuity that was born of youthful exuberance and curiosity, curiosity that had been piqued, and creativity that had been inspired, by an expired plant.

    Inspiring creativity and ingenuity need not be reserved for the squirrels. Indeed, we in the GWVAS have for years endeavored to inspire creativity by piquing curiosity about nature in both the young and the young-at-heart alike. With nature camp scholarships for the young and educational programs and field trips for the young-at-heart, the GWVAS leaders have provided, and continue to provide, opportunities for our members and friends to be entertained by, and to be inspired by, the natural world. Although we might never know how an imaginative young nature camper might be inspired to repurpose a cone that has been discarded by a mighty pine or a feather that has been shed by a molting bird, and we likewise might never know what innovation might be inspired when we spend time observing nature, we do know that as long as we provide opportunities, curiosity and ingenuity will thrive. We know also that our members’ generosity has inspired us to continue to provide opportunities that pique curiosity and stimulate creativity and ingenuity. I ask now that you demonstrate once again your much-appreciated generosity.

    As always, I thank you for your continued support and inspiration.

                            Yours in Nature,

                            Bob Wasilewski

Yes, I want to help you to inspire the young and the young-at-heart by supporting the GWVAS’s  programs and activities. Enclosed is my tax-deductible gift made payable to the GWVAS.

                ⃞$15    Curiosity                        ⃞$20 Creativity

                ⃞$25     Innovation                    ⃞$35  Inventiveness

                ⃞ $40 Ingenuity                         ⃞$50 Imagination

My Favorite form of Inspiration ________________________ $________

        Name _____________________________________

        Address ___________________________________



Email Address _________________________  ___I prefer a written receipt.

              (To confirm receipt of donation)

The Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations to the GWVAS are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable.